Fashion is about imagination – newly created, constantly augmented and painstakingly crafted every day by the industry, with care and love. Yet the magic of the fashion industry is easily overlooked, forgotten – familiarity allows complacency. A reminder of the purity of those dreams, of that magic, is the intention that guides this new Prada moving image campaign: a new character, Hunter Schafer, and a filmmaker, Xavier Dolan, are invited to examine the timeless Prada Galleria handbag with no preconceived expectations. From the outside, looking in, they capture the eternal dream of fashion anew.
Without preconceptions, complete freedom is afforded: Dolan was given the independence to create, to direct his personal vision of the universe of fashion, and the identity of the Prada Galleria. The campaign draws inspiration from a ceaseless fascination with the iconography of our industry. Dolan’s cinematic short seems to explore different aspects of this dream: of filmmaking, and of fashion. Each is multi-faceted, many-angled – a reflection of the obsession of our age for shifting, endlessly, from idea to idea – from repose to dynamic action, simplicity to complexity. There is no singular narrative, rather a sequence of micro-narratives, like captured thoughts, loves, emotions or dreams, in constant dialogue with one another.
The heartbeat of those dreams is fashion, viewed from the outside. Embracing the codes and tropes inherent to the world of fashion, the film has a purity, a naivety, joy. They reflect universality: archetypes of fashion shoots, as envisaged by many, innocent and optimistic, idealized and idolized.
Schafer is our heroine – a romantic, a young girl imagining her place within her different fantasies. We leap from her bedroom, to imaginings of a fashion shoot, universal reflections of fashion as imagined in the popular consciousness, an escape from her reality. But that reality could itself be a dream: these scenes are contradictorily framed by the apparatus of filmmaking, contained within cinematic sets that evoke the dream factory of Hollywood, another source of endless enchantment, like the world of fashion she imagines.
A constant presence, Schafer’s fixation – her fantasy – is the Prada Galleria, a talisman of fashion. The bag is a classic, whose character is constantly reinvented, reimagined, reinvigorated, as diverse and multifaceted as a cinematic heroine. Change, contradiction, evolution – always and never the same. The Galleria bag here is reimagined in different contexts, differing locales and visions, jolting between imaginary scenes and scenarios, between multiple micro narratives, like fragments of thoughts, hopes or wishes.
Both cinema and fashion transform fantasy to tangible reality: films bring fiction to life, give their directors’ hitherto imagined visions a physicality. We, as an audience, can share their wildest desires – while actors like Schafer give credence to the make-believe, imbuing heroines with not only a literal presence but an honesty, a purity, a truth. A great actor can inhabit their role like a dress, and make it part of them. And likewise, fashion also creates actuality from inspiration – objects, precious and charged, which can then be owned. We can touch and feel
fashion’s fantasies, see them and share them. They can become ours.
A celebration of the joy of fashion, framed through the art of filmmaking – a dream, within a dream.
Talent: Hunter Schafer
Director: Xavier Dolan
Creative Director: Ferdinando Verderi
About HUNTER SCHAFER
Hunter Schafer is an American actress and artist. In 2019, she made her acting debut portraying Jules in the HBO series Euphoria. She also co-wrote and co-executive produced a special episode for the series. In 2021, Time named her to its Next list of 100 emerging leaders who are shaping the future. In 2017, while attending the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, she was named a finalist for The National YoungArts Foundations’ competition – the organization’s highest honor. In December that year, Teen Vogue named her one of the world’s 21 Most Influential People Under 21.
About XAVIER DOLAN
The Canadian actor, film director and screenwriter Xavier Dolan has written and directed eight feature films to date. His directorial debut, I Killed My Mother (J’ai tué ma mère) – which Dolan wrote, directed, produced and starred in at the age of 20 – premiered at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival, where it received the Art Cinema Award, the SACD Prize for screenplay, and the Prix Regards Jeunes. His fifth feature, Mommy, won the César Award for Best Foreign Film in 2015. The same year Dolan sat on the jury of the Cannes Film Festival, and directed the video for Adele’s single Hello. He has also featured as an actor in motion pictures directed by others, including 2018’s Boy Erased, opposite Lucas Hedges and Troye Sivan, and Bad Times at the El Royale. Dolan’s work has received numerous awards and international critical acclaim.
Jury prize was won at Cannes in 2014.
Member of the Jury in 2015.
Grand prize for It’s Only the End of the World in 2016.